The Crestview water tower painting project is one step closer to being official.

The Washington City Council raised no objections at Monday’s administration/operations committee meeting to a plan to award a contract to Maquire Iron. The next step will be for the council to vote on the contract at a meeting in November.

Four companies submitted bids for the tower painting project, with the lowest coming from Maquire Iron at $598,100. The board supported awarding the contract to the Sioux Falls, S.D.-based company.

The city had budgeted $700,000 for the project. Other bids came from Thomas Industrial Coatings, Pevely, $722,967; TMI Coatings, St. Paul, Minn., $743,000; and Trikote, Pacific, $648,000.

The board of public works supported working with Maguire Iron earlier this month. Water/Wastewater Superintendent Kevin Quaethem said they were a respected vendor who has worked throughout the country He said the company recently worked on a project in St. Clair.

The proposed contract calls for the complete removal of all coats of paint, a new mixing system, and a complete repainting of the tower.

Work is expected to begin in February 2018. The agreement calls for the project to have substantial completion by May 1, 2018, and final completion by May 15, 2018.

Project Background

Last November the board began talking about the need to repaint the tower. The water tower is structurally fine, but needs a new coat of paint because rust has started to show.

Because of lead-based paint involved, Donohue & Associates was selected in May to be the city’s engineering firm for the painting project. The contract will pay Donohue $33,000 for the service.

Donohue was brought on board to prepare bid specifications for the work. Donohue created a 350-plus page document for vendors. The document lays out exactly how the contractors will need to handle the painting project. It covers the tenting procedure needed to deal with the removal of lead paint.

Early estimates called for the project to cost between $700,000 and $1 million. Quaethem said the high price tag was because of the depth of the project.

At a certain thickness the paint no longer sticks so every layer of paint has to be stripped down to the base, Quaethem said. Since the base layer was painted with lead paint, a “big canvas” is needed to cover the tower to keep the work completely contained and keep the lead from spreading.

The city had originally hoped to have the project completed this spring, but as the scope grew bigger, it pushed plans back to this fall. Because the tower is in such good shape, Quaethem said the city can afford to wait a few months before painting.

Money is already allocated for the project in the current year’s budget.

The Crestview tower was built in the 1970s. Quaethem said with regular maintenance, it could have a 100-year lifespan.